Campfires with friends and family have been responsible for countless stories told, laughs shared, and memories made, but they aren’t without their drawbacks. Wood campfires pose a major wildfire risk in drought-stricken Western states (see our guide for tips on how to minimize that danger), and many wilderness areas and campgrounds have imposed wood fire bans as a result. Even in good conditions, a long night by the fire will leave you smelling like Smokey the Bear’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, there’s a cleaner and safer alternative to the traditional wood-burning campfire: portable propane fire pits.
While traditional campfires require bundles of wood and constant attention, propane fire pits are a cinch to use. Simply hook up your fire pit to a propane tank, turn on the gas, ignite the flame, and you’ll have a roaring fire. While the exact burn time for each fire pit varies, you’ll get to enjoy smoke-free, consistent flames for hours.
To guide your shopping, we’ve rounded up top-rated portable propane fire pits from brands including Camp Chef, Ukiah, and Outdoor Living that are perfect for the backyard or the campground.
The Best Propane Fire Pits
1. Ukiah Tailgater II
One of the coolest propane fire pits we’ve ever seen, the Tailgater II brings both the flames and the beats. Much more than a standard propane fire pit, this unit features a complete sound system, including two 3.5-inch speakers and one subwoofer for top-notch sound quality. It even has a “Beat to Music” mode where the flames synchronize to your music. Try that with a campfire.
[$599; ukiahco.com]Get it
2. Outland Living Firebowl 893
With nearly 9,000 five-star reviews, the Outland Living Firebowl 893 is a safe bet for a dependable fire pit. The natural lava rocks and chrome valve adjustment knob add style, while the stainless-steel burner and protective enamel finish can stand up to season after season of use. It also comes with a ten-foot hose to keep your propane tank safely away from the flames, and it includes a carry kit with a cover and a handle for easy transporting.
[$136; Alpha XR]Get it
3. Camp Chef Portable Propane Fire Ring
One of the most budget-friendly propane fire rings available, this option from Camp Chef offers everything you need in a fire pit. The durable steel ring comes with built-in legs to raise the fire off the ground and 12 pounds of lava rock as a base for the flames, and it even includes two wood-handled roasting sticks. Light it up and you’ll have s’mores ready in minutes.
[$105; cabelas.com]Get it
4. Loon Peak Bouck Concrete Propane Fire Column
If you’re into the idea of a mess-free campfire but don’t like the look of a metal fire pit and its propane tank, this option from Loon Peak might be just what you need. The fuel tank is hidden inside the round faux log, which has a 10-inch diameter and stands 14 inches tall. It weighs just under 10 pounds and includes two built-in handles, so you can take it with you to the campground or make it a permanent fixture in your backyard.
[$173; wayfair.com]Get it
5. Camco Olympian Camp Fire
Ultra-portable thanks to its secure lid and carry handle, the Camco Olympian Camp Fire is the perfect addition to your camp kit. The fire tray measures just under one foot in diameter, while the realistic log pieces create a natural look. The elevated fire tray and heat-resistant base ensures a safe fire experience that’s ideal for everywhere from the RV campground to your backyard patio.
[$177; homedepot.com]Get it
6. Kinger Home 19-Inch Portable Propane Fire Pit
Kinger Home delivers with this sturdy and easy-to-use propane fire pit. The 19-inch diameter is larger than many other comparable options, while the stainless steel frame features a circular base for excellent stability. The included lava rocks add a nice flicker to the flames, while the one-click auto ignition system and large adjustment knob make lighting and controlling the fire stress-free.
[$150; kingerhome.com]Get it
7. Bond Signature 18.5-Inch Bronze Gas Fire Pit
With up to a 15 hours of burn time using a 20-pound propane tank, this fire pit from Bond Signature can keep the flames going all weekend long. The electric ignition and flame adjustment knob are easy to use, the locking lid makes it easy to carry and store, and the bronze finish gives it a sleek look worthy of any backyard hangout or campsite story sesh.
[$139; lowes.com]Get it
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